Day 256 - joy
Thursday, 12 May 2011
The title of this blog is exactly what I've felt over the last couple of weeks - joy. It might sound a bit cheesy, but it's true. The weather's been gorgeous (I'm nearly a bronzed adonis), my workload has been manageable, Ida's been a delight (apart from a few food-throwing incidents) and I've managed to spend some real time in the garden.
Let's focus on the garden as I've loads to report in that department:
We decided to take our house off the market (if you didn't know it was for sale take a look here), and squander the small amount of money we'd saved up on a bit of decking for just outside our sitting room. It's a job we've wanted to do since we bought the house in 2006, but we've never quite got 'round to it. Anyway, Terry the carpenter did a stonking job, constructing a beautiful deck in just a day (it would have taken me months and looked a mess). It's already earning its keep, giving Ida somewhere to run about barefoot and play with her toys. Here they both are (Ida and the deck) in action:
I had a brief twitter chat with Helen Johnstone (@PatientGarden
) about bedding plants, trying to work out if there are any that need little care, attention and water. I came to the conclusion that there aren't, and questioned why I spend around £100 every year on plants that take hours to maintain, only last a couple of months and are everything but sustainable. I couldn't come up with an answer, but knew I didn't have the willpower to turn my back on them. So, this year I've gone for a combination of 'Black Dragon' coleus, spider plants, lime ipomea, cerise ivy-leaf pelargoniums, cerise busy Lizzies and 'Purple Majesty' millet. Some people get a bit sniffy about coelus and busy Lizzies but, if used in the right way, I think they can look bloody awesome. I spent a glorious day planting the whole lot and am really looking forward to watching my pots and containers pump out the colour as the summer unfolds. There's nothing much to look at just now, but here's a shot of everything fresh from the nursery so you can get the general idea:Bananas
I've always had banana plants in my garden but our recent, bitterly cold winters have seen an end to them (even with thorough wrapping). The glutten for punishment that I am, I decided to invest in two Ensete ventricosum
'Maurelii' (the slightly fancy, red-leaf ones) and have another try. After much pondering and internet searching I finally bought two, splashing out a whopping £45 (what with delivery etc). I waited with excitement, expecting enormous monsters to arrive that would create instant impact in my borders. Sadly, this is what turned up:
The orange on the right of the picture is the arm of my sofa, and you can just about see the plug socket in the background - these plants, by any stretch of the imagination, are not enormous monsters. Don't get me wrong, they're healthy enough, and I'm sure they'll bulk up over the summer, but they are disappointing. They were sold, and priced, based on the size of their pot which, I've discovered, doesn't necessarily relate to the size of the plant. Take heed, dear friends. Grafted plants
I'm sure I'm not the only garden writer to take up Hishtil Ltd's offer to trial grafted tomato plants this summer. Well, the plants have arrived, they're waiting to be potted up and I'm quite excited to see how they perform. At this stage, I must say the non-grafted plants look stronger than the grafted ones, but I guess the proof will be in the harvest. I'll keep you posted. Anyone else taken delivery of theirs and got any initial observations?
So, that's it for now. I'll post again soon with tales of my mother's hanging baskets, our church fete and, of course, Chelsea.
Until next time...
P.s. I squandered the remainder of our saved up money on a car for Ida and me to tootle about it. It's a 1987 fiesta and I bloody love it! Here she is: